When we walked Fitz, we would take him by our neighbor's house across the street, where Mitsy, a darling little cocker spaniel, lived. She would greet us from behind her own 3-foot-high, open-wire fence. Mitsy and Fitz visited by rubbing their noses together through openings in the fence. All was well. Until ...
One morning my neighbor called, frantic and angry. "Fitz is in our backyard with Mitsy, and I don't want my dog to have pups!" she yelled."
I responded that it couldn't possibly be Fitz in her backyard because he was now 12 years old, arthritic and had been neutered at age 2. "I'll be right over," I said.
In her backyard, with little Mitsy, was Fitz. They now knew each other intimately.
I couldn't believe that our dog, in his arthritic old age, had jumped both our fence and our neighbor's fence to visit his girlfriend. But clearly he had.
I suggested she call the Texas City Animal Clinic. "The veterinarian who takes care of Fitz will assure you that he is neutered and cannot father puppies," I said.
Dr. Carroll calmed my neighbor down. "Yes, Fitz was neutered years ago," he said, "and while I've never heard of a neutered male animal mating with a female, one thing I am certain of is that your dog will not have Fitz's puppies."
I took Fitz back across the street to our home. Tail wagging furiously, he was grinning ear to ear.
Greatly puzzled, I sent a letter to Doc Phillips, asking how in the world it was possible for Fitz to mate with a female when he had been neutered more than 10 years before. A week later came a postcard with an explanation:
"Good memory. Love, Doc."
Evelyn R. Smith, of Charleston, may be emailed at ers...@aol.com.